rlown wrote:I know were talking mostly about bear cans here, but is there anything you all do espcially for your pack to make sure it's not taken at 2am? We had this happen once about 10 years ago up at Evelyn Lk; my friend left his toothbrush in the pack. Not sure if that's what prompted the bear to take it, as i think they also see a pack as a potential food source.
I've taken to tying off my pack frame to a tree or rock at night with my pot handle threaded through the rope to the pack. pile of rocks strategically placed outside the tent for thwarting such attempts.
Wow, having a pack move off in the middle of the night is a nightmare. I've never much worried about my pack, but I can say that I've had damage to the pack and other equipment done by smaller critters. While camped at Tower Lake (N. of Tower Peak, N Yosemite border) in 1987, chipmunks (we think) staged a series of attacks the first chewed on the scree guards of our boots (thence moved inside tent), then on the leather attachment grommets on our packs (thence also moved inside tent), and finally chewed leather wrist loops off of our two homemade walking sticks. On another occasion, some critter chewed on my boots that were supporting my pillow while sleeping out under the stars (1982, Smith L., Russian Wilderness); slept through the whole thing. The boots were so badly damaged I could barely hike out in them. The "move into tent" technique (for critter protection) works if you tend to use a generously sized tent (as I always do--my camp set up is aimed at in-camp comfort, rather than being super light on the hike).
Returning to the original post about storage capacity of bear cannisters and "excess" food, I've also tended to leave unopened freeze dried stuff outside of the cannister so as to prioritize cannister space for opened or ready-to-eat foods (if in fact it didn't all fit in the cannister). The stuff left out of the cannister is used to prop my pillow inside the tent. I have hiked with bear cannisters (Garcia in my case) ever since they were required. Perhaps because my trips never exceeded 9 days, capacity has not been too much of an issue, especially since the standard for my trips is for each person on the trip to have a cannister. The folks I hike with like the cannisters (as I do) because they double as very nice camp seats. In 43 years of backpacking I have never had a bear raid my camp, although I have had occasional critter problems. I have been camped at more popular places when bears have raided nearby campsites of other campers, though. One example I recall was when someone did not use the bear box at the outlet of East Lake (KCNP) one night, because he was too lazy to walk 300 yards or so to put his food away at night. The bear got all of his food and he had to go home on day 3 of what he had planned as a week plus long trip. This fellow had actually stored his food in the bear box the night before, but for some reason decided it would be OK to be lazy the next evening. It was clear from the prints we saw on the ground that the bear (or bears) very systematically inspected each campsite for unprotected food because nearly all of the occupied campsites, including ours, had paw prints through them.